Nike BIKETOWN visual identity

Nike BIKETOWN is a $10 million five year partnership agreement for Portland Bike Share. Nike has a long history with Portland so it’s fitting that they should partner with the City of Portland to offer such initiatives. For more than 40 years, Nike has called the greater Portland area home, the company has both committed to and developed strong ties within the community and these orange bikes are just part of that. Talking of orange bikes, it’s the visual identity of these bikes that is interesting for those of us that might not live in Portland.

The BIKETOWN bikes are Nike Orange, a color that has been synonymous with Nike since 1971, when founder Phil Knight and his first employee Jeff Johnson introduced the hue on the shoebox of the first shoe to bear the brand’s trademark Swoosh.

It wasn’t until 1989, however, that Orange was labeled the company’s official signature color. Today, an orange shoebox is instantly identifiable as “Nike.” The bikes of BIKETOWN are a direct extension of this icon, with the baskets on the front of the bikes even designed to look like shoeboxes.

The bright wraps also serve a safety purpose and include strategically placed, complementary reflective gray tape and logos. Additional, limited-edition bike wrap designs unique to Nike will be released periodically, celebrating Nike and Portland’s shared spirit of invention.

Nike is extending this heritage with this partnership. The partnership, which includes $10 million over five years, will increase the number of bikes in the Portland Bike Share Program from the 600 that were initially planned to 1,000. Additionally, Nike is contributing designs for BIKETOWN’s stations, the visual bike identity and digital branding.




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  • I get the Nike history but what about the Portland history and significance of YELLOW? Yes, it’s too bad the bikes aren’t yellow to reflect the original bikeshare in Portland, before the bike craze, when critical mass was still short of critical, and before the influx of California… They were yellow, they were free, they were everywhere. It sorta worked and then they disappeared… to the suburbs. Like Nike.

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